We are focusing on a revision in the housing of our animals and that, as in the past, the Colorado Egg Producers have a strict code of conduct for animal welfare that is followed by all of its members.
Our entire farm membership provided input to the sponsors of this bill and provided constructive insight on behalf of producers, consumers, and retailers. They have had numerous discussions, stakeholder meetings, and input from allied industries to be certain that this bill is in concert with national trends in the egg production industry is relevant for best production practices and welfare of animals and speaks to the consideration and concerns of consumers.
The barns that rise up from the rural Colorado flatlands each hold tens of thousands of chickens, layered in steel cages that stack toward the ceiling. The floor of the cages tilts about 6 degrees, so when a hen lays an egg, it rolls downhill and onto a soft conveyor belt headed out of the barn.
About 5.5 million hens, mainly from four major egg producers in the state and mostly in Weld County, live in this conventional, caged housing. But not for much longer. Colorado egg producers were just handed a deadline by the state legislature to convert all hen housing to cage-free by 2025.
Egg producers estimate it will cost them about $30 per bird, totaling about $165 million for the industry in Colorado..
We appreciate the collaborative nature by which this bill has been evolved and the tremendous efforts of the legislators.